Friday, 06 April 2012 00:00
Free trip limited to 15 people
Monticello — If watching the colorful strutting display of Gunnison sage grouse sounds interesting, state wildlife biologists have an offer that might be hard for you to refuse.
During the weekend of April 13–14, they'll take a small group of people to see Gunnison sage grouse strut on leks (breeding grounds) east of Monticello.
Utah is home to two sage grouse subspecies—the greater sage grouse and the Gunnison sage grouse.
Gunnison sage grouse are the rarest of the two.
To avoid disturbing the grouse, the trip is limited to no more than 15 people. There's no cost to see the grouse, but you will have to pay for lodging, food and gasoline to and from Monticello.
Monticello is about a five-hour drive southeast of Salt Lake City.
If you'd like to attend the trip, call Brent Stettler at 435-613-3707.
On Friday evening—April 13—an orientation will be held in the commission chambers at the San Juan County Building, 117 S. Main in Monticello.
The orientation and discussion, provided by a wildlife biologist from the Division of Wildlife Resources, begins at 7 p.m. You'll learn about the ecology, life history, geographic distribution and legal status of Gunnison sage grouse. You'll also receive information about where and when to meet the following morning.
The best viewing always occurs before dawn or right at dawn. Within an hour after sunrise, grouse are usually done strutting for the day.
Please prepare for winter-like conditions. You'll want to bring a camera and a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope. (The DWR biologist will also have extra binoculars and spotting scopes you can use.)
To lessen the chance of disturbing the birds, you'll be encouraged to carpool to the strutting ground with other participants. The trip from Monticello to the strutting ground will take about an hour.
For more information, call Stettler at 435-613-3707.
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